Isaiah 18

16  tSend the lamb to the ruler of the land,

from uSela, by way of the desert,

to the mount of the daughter of Zion.

Like fleeing birds,

like a scattered nest,

so are the daughters of Moab

at vthe fords of the Arnon.

Give counsel;

grant justice;

wmake your shade like night

at the height of noon;

shelter the outcasts;

do not reveal the fugitive;

let xthe outcasts of Moab

sojourn among you;

be a shelter to them1

from the destroyer.

When the oppressor is no more,

and destruction has ceased,

and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land,

ythen a throne will be established in steadfast love,

and on it will sit in faithfulness

in the tent of David

one who judges and seeks justice

and is swift to do righteousness.

zWe have heard of the pride of Moab

how proud he is!

aof his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence;

in his idle boasting he is not right.

Therefore let Moab wail for Moab,

blet everyone wail.

Mourn, utterly stricken,

for the craisin cakes of dKir-hareseth.

For the fields of Heshbon languish,

and ethe vine of Sibmah;

the lords of the nations

have struck down its branches,

which reached to Jazer

and strayed to the desert;

its shoots spread abroad

and passed over the sea.

Therefore fI weep with ethe weeping of Jazer

for the vine of Sibmah;

I drench you with my tears,

O Heshbon and Elealeh;

for over gyour summer fruit and your harvest

the shout has ceased.

10  hAnd joy and gladness are taken away from ithe fruitful field,

and in the vineyards no jsongs are sung,

no cheers are raised;

no ktreader treads out wine lin the presses;

I have put an end to the shouting.

11  Therefore mmy inner parts moan like a lyre for Moab,

and my inmost self for Kir-hareseth.

12 And when Moab presents himself, when nhe wearies himself on othe high place, when he comes to his sanctuary to pray, he will not prevail.

13 This is the word that the Lord spoke concerning Moab pin the past. 14 But now the Lord has spoken, saying, In three years, qlike the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who remain will be rvery few and feeble.

An Oracle Concerning Damascus

17 An soracle concerning tDamascus.

Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city

and will become a heap of ruins.

The cities of uAroer are deserted;

they will be for flocks,

which will lie down, and vnone will make them afraid.

The fortress will disappear from wEphraim,

and the kingdom from wDamascus;

and the remnant of Syria will be

like xthe glory of the children of Israel,

declares the Lord of hosts.

And in that day xthe glory of Jacob will be brought low,

and ythe fat of his flesh will grow lean.

And it shall be zas when the reaper gathers standing grain

and his arm harvests the ears,

and as when one gleans the ears of grain

in athe Valley of Rephaim.

bGleanings will be left in it,

as when an olive tree is beaten

two or three berries

in the top of the highest bough,

four or five

on the branches of a fruit tree,

declares the Lord God of Israel.

cIn that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. dHe will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made, either the eAsherim or the altars of incense.

fIn that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the wooded heights and the hilltops, which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation.

10  For gyou have forgotten the God of your salvation

and have not remembered the hRock of your refuge;

therefore, though you plant pleasant plants

and sow the vine-branch of a stranger,

11  though you make them grow1 on the day that you plant them,

and make them blossom in the morning that you sow,

yet the harvest will flee away2

in a day of grief and incurable pain.

12  Ah, ithe thunder of many peoples;

they thunder like the thundering of the sea!

Ah, the roar of nations;

they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!

13  jThe nations roar like the roaring of many waters,

kbut he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away,

chased llike chaff on the mountains before the wind

and mwhirling dust before the storm.

14  nAt evening time, behold, terror!

Before morning, they are no more!

This is the portion of those who loot us,

and the lot of those who plunder us.

An Oracle Concerning Cush

18  Ah, land of owhirring wings

that is beyond the rivers of pCush,1

which qsends ambassadors by the sea,

in vessels of papyrus on the waters!

Go, you swift messengers,

to a nation rtall and smooth,

to a people feared near and far,

a nation smighty and conquering,

whose land the rivers divide.

All you inhabitants of the world,

you who dwell on the earth,

when ta signal is raised on the mountains, look!

When a trumpet is blown, hear!

For thus the Lord said to me:

I will quietly look ufrom my dwelling

like clear heat in sunshine,

like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.

vFor before the harvest, when the blossom is over,

and the flower becomes a ripening grape,

he cuts off the shoots with pruning hooks,

and the spreading branches he lops off and clears away.

vThey shall all of them be left

to the birds of prey of the mountains

and to the beasts of the earth.

And the birds of prey will summer on them,

and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them.

wAt that time tribute will be brought to the Lord of hosts

from a people xtall and smooth,

from a people feared near and far,

a nation mighty and conquering,

whose land the rivers divide,

to yMount Zion, the place of the zname of the Lord of hosts.

An Oracle Concerning Egypt

19 An aoracle concerning bEgypt.

Behold, the Lord cis riding on a swift cloud

and comes to Egypt;

and dthe idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,

and the heart of the Egyptians will emelt within them.

And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians,

fand they will fight, each against another

and each against his neighbor,

city against city, kingdom against kingdom;

and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out,

and I will confound1 their gcounsel;

and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers,

and hthe mediums and the necromancers;

and I will give over the Egyptians

into the hand of ia hard master,

and a fierce king will rule over them,

declares the Lord God of hosts.

And the waters of the sea will be dried up,

and the river will be dry and parched,

and its canals will become foul,

and the branches of Egypt's Nile will diminish and dry up,

reeds and rushes will rot away.

There will be bare places by the Nile,

on the brink of the Nile,

and all that is sown by the Nile will be parched,

will be driven away, and will be no more.

The jfishermen will mourn and lament,

all who cast a hook in the Nile;

and they will languish

who spread nets on the water.

The workers in kcombed flax will be in despair,

and the weavers of white cotton.

10  Those who are the lpillars of the land will be crushed,

and all who mwork for pay will be grieved.

11  The princes of nZoan are utterly foolish;

the wisest counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel.

How can you say to Pharaoh,

I am a son of the wise,

a son of ancient kings?

12  Where then are your owise men?

Let them tell you

that they might know what the Lord of hosts has purposed against Egypt.

13  The princes of nZoan have become fools,

and the princes of pMemphis are deluded;

those who are the qcornerstones of her tribes

have made Egypt stagger.

14  The Lord has mingled within her ra spirit of confusion,

and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds,

sas a drunken man staggers in his vomit.

15  And there will be nothing for Egypt

that thead or tail, palm branch or reed, may do.

Egypt, Assyria, Israel Blessed

16 In that day the Egyptians will be ulike women, and vtremble with fear before the hand that the Lord of hosts shakes over them. 17 And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians. Everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose that the Lord of hosts has purposed against them.

18 wIn that day there will be xfive cities in the land of Egypt that yspeak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord of hosts. One of these will be called the City of Destruction.2

19 In that day there will be an zaltar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a apillar to the Lord at its border. 20 aIt will be a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the Lord because of oppressors, bhe will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. 21 cAnd the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day dand worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them. 22 eAnd the Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them.

23 fIn that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, gand the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

24 In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, ha blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, Blessed be Egypt imy people, and Assyria jthe work of my hands, and kIsrael my inheritance.

A Sign Against Egypt and Cush

20 In the year that lthe commander in chief, who was sent by Sargon the king of Assyria, came to mAshdod and fought against it and captured it at that time the Lord spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go, and loose the sackcloth from your waist and take off your sandals from your feet, and he did so, walking nnaked and barefoot.

Then the Lord said, As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years oas a sign and a portent against Egypt and Cush,1 so shall the pking of Assyria lead away the Egyptian captives and the Cushite exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, the nakedness of Egypt. qThen they shall be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and of Egypt their boast. And the inhabitants of rthis coastland will say in that day, Behold, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and sto whom we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?